These days, golf carts can be seen in just about any place besides a golf course. You are sure to have seen these carts at local events, concerts, or even slowly (and painfully) driving down the street. But can just about anyone drive these carts? Continue reading to find out if you need a license to drive a golf cart.
Some states require a valid driver’s license to operate golf carts. On the contrary, other states do not require a driver’s license. In states that do not require a license, golf carts can only be driven by people over a certain age. This age range can vary between the ages of 12 to 18 years old.
Driving a golf cart might seem reasonably safe, but a few tips can help prevent any unnecessary injury. Read on to learn more.
Do You Need A License To Drive A Golf Cart?
As mentioned before, it is not uncommon to see golf carts driven by just about anyone. But are those teenagers who haven’t reached the legal age to have their learner’s license allowed to drive golf carts? Well, in some places, yes. It is all dependent on the rules and regulations of your state for driving golf carts.
Before renting or driving a golf cart in some states, you must have a valid license. Driving a golf cart around your gated community is considered an offense if you live in one of these states. So, just remember, the law triumphs all – even if your gated community or local golf course says otherwise.
As a result, it is crucial to know what your local state requires for driving golf carts. You can do this by searching online or inquiring at your local municipal office. On the contrary to license-requiring states, many states require no licensing at all.
However, these states stipulate that golf cart drivers must be of a certain age before getting behind the wheel. These ages can range anywhere from 18 years old to a low of 12 years old. So, again, it is crucial to be aware of the legal age of driving a golf cart in your state.
In addition, where you drive the golf cart may necessitate a driver’s license. If you plan to use the golf cart on public roads, you will require a driver’s license.
However, if you use the golf cart within a private property or a golf course, you are not required to have a license.
Can You Drive A Golf Cart On The Road?
This question is a bit more challenging to answer as every state, and even some cities, have their own regulations and laws regarding whether golf carts are street legal or not. Golf carts are entirely prohibited from driving on public roadways in some states and cities.
In other states, golf carts are allowed on public roadways to a certain extent. For instance, golf carts may only travel on roads that do not exceed more than 30 miles per hour or may only be used within specific communities.
Even so, golf carts allowed to travel on public roadways usually have to meet specific safety requirements and inspections before being deemed ‘street-legal.’
If you think about it, it is understandable, as golf carts are meant to transport golf bags in the back, and many golf carts are not equipped with many safety measures such as seatbelts.
They aren’t golf carts if they don’t have that. They are Low-Speed Vehicles (LSVs) and have the same licensing, registration, safety equipment, and insurance requirements as cars.
Therefore, you should know what your state considers roadworthy. Although it may cost a little extra to spruce up your golf cart for inspection, you can then drive with confidence, knowing you won’t be penalized for driving a non-road-worthy golf cart.
Safety Tips For Driving A Golf Cart
Golf cart drivers in many states are not required to have licenses, which, coupled with the general public’s relaxed attitude about golf vehicles, has resulted in a surprising number of golf cart injuries.
So, in light of these statistics, an estimated 15,000 golf-cart-related injuries per year, I have decided to write down some tips that will help keep you safe.
Never Drink And Drive
Although golf carts travel substantially slower than regular vehicles, it does not mean injury or death can not occur from a golf cart accident. Therefore, driving sober is crucial for the same reasons as driving sober in a regular vehicle.
Alcohol impairs normal cognitive functioning, making it more likely to misinterpret situations (for instance, the amount of time it will take to overtake another golf cart), increasing risk-taking, and generally increasing the chances of being in an accident.
Drive Slowly On Corners And Turns
If you see a corner, turn, or windy pathways coming up ahead, be sure to slow down. It may be tempting to forgo this tip and take turns at full speed; however, you risk your safety and those of your passengers.
Taking too sharp a turn at high speeds can result in you or one of your passengers being ejected from the golf cart, resulting in possible injury. Also, a fast turn can result in the golf cart rolling over – another culprit in golf-cart-related injuries.
Do Not Exceed Occupancy While Driving
Whether your golf cart is a two-seater, four-seater, or six-seater, occupancy should never exceed the maximum safe occupancy of the cart. Exceeding maximum occupancy poses a safety threat to you and your passengers.
Remain Seated With Hands And Feet In The Cart
All passengers should remain seated while the golf cart is in motion, as standing increases the likelihood of passengers being ejected from the cart. Also, always keep hands and feet within the golf cart unless using your arm to indicate.
Children Should Never Sit On The Drivers Lap
Children should never sit on the driver’s lap, as doing so could result in the child being crushed if an accident occurs. Instead, young children should always sit flat on the seat and refrain from standing up.
Your state determines whether you will need a license to operate a golf cart. So, if you’re thinking about buying your own golf cart or simply visiting another state, double-check the requirements for driving a golf cart in that state.
And if you want to know the best golf cart brands, check out this article, 7 Best Golf Cart Brands.